|Two approaches for ankle relief. Which is the better solution? See below.|
Back when I started skating regularly again I was without my own skates and spent a couple months in rental skates. It didn't take long for those poorly fitting boots to gnaw at my feet. In particular the malleoli of my ankles proved to be susceptible to the loving embrace of those boots. I blogged about that here. I bought a "large" Silipos brand "silopad" gel tube from our rink's pro shop as a work around until my new skates arrived. The single gel tube was long enough to cut in half, making two shorter tubes--one for each ankle. This tube cost me $23.95 plus Maryland tax for a total of $25.39. One of my gel tubes can be seen, on the right, in the photo above. The tube consists of medical grade silicon gel on the inside and heavy stretchable mesh fabric on the outside. In the photo below, I've turned one of the tubes inside out to show the gel part.
|The gel tube turned inside out. The silicon gel forms a continuous layer throughout the entire interior area of the tube.|
When my new boots finally arrived I was confronted with a different comfort problem. I basically traded poorly fitting boots for better fitting ones which needed breaking in. Yes, the new boots can (and were) heat molded but break in is still a part of the program. The gel sleeve mesh material is much thinner than the mesh used with the gel tube and is designed to fit over the instep, heel and ankle (leaving the toes exposed). Instead of have a continuous layer of gel on the inside, each sleeve has a pair of 2 inch diameter circles of the same gel material, one on either side, so both ankle malleoli are cushioned.
|The gel sleeve turned inside out. One of the two circles of gel (one for each malliolus) can be seen.|